The Amgen Tour of California wrapped up its sixth stage Friday as cyclists took off from Santa Clarita for Mountain High.
The race, which has drawn large crowds to see elite cyclists from around the world, returns to Santa Clarita Saturday for the next stage, and will end in Pasadena.
Friday’s stage was anticipated to be the most challenging as the athletes look to conquer 94 miles and a 12-mile climb. Sunday marks the eighth and final stage; it will start and finish in Thousand Oaks, home of title sponsor Amgen Inc.
Friday’s route marked the sixth year that cyclists took off from Santa Clarita, and city spokeswoman Jessica Jackson said that each year the city has brought in about $1 million through tourism dollars, according to an economic impact study.
“We anticipate this year to be consistent with the previous year,” she said.
Jackson noted that this is the first year any city will host the start of two separate days of the race, so that is expected to boost the economic impact.
Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medalist, continues to lead the race.
“There are no easy days, and teams will have to be strategic about when to take the lead and how to protect their positions through the rest of the week, so we’ll see some really exciting racing to the end,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports, in a statement.
The eight-day cycling event is title sponsored by Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen Inc. and owned by L.A. sports and entertainment presenter AEG Sports, a subsidiary of Anschutz Corp. of Denver.
This is the ninth year the race has been held, and it drew both national and international cycling teams. Cyclists started on Sunday, May 11 in Sacramento, and will conclude the 720-mile event in Thousand Oaks on Sunday, May 18.